HMS Caledonia (1862)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Career RN Ensign
Name: HMS Caledonia
Builder: Woolwich Dockyard
Laid down: 1860
Completed: July 1865
Fate: Broken up, 1886
General characteristics
Class and type: Prince Consort-class battleship
Displacement: 6,832 long tons (6,942 t)
Length: As built : 252 ft (77 m)
After 1866 : 273 ft (83 m)
Beam: As built : 57 ft (17 m)
After 1866 : 58 ft 6 in (17.83 m)
Draught: As built : 25 ft (7.6 m) light
26 ft 6 in (8.08 m) deep load
After 1866 : 24 ft (7.3 m) light
26 ft 9 in (8.15 m) deep load
Propulsion: One-shaft Maudsley horizontal reciprocating
3,750 ihp (2,796 kW)
Sail plan: Single-topsail barque, sail area 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2)
Speed: 12.5 knots (14.4 mph; 23.2 km/h) under power
11.5 knots (13.2 mph; 21.3 km/h) under sail
Complement: 605

1865 :
• 10 × 7 in (180 mm) breech loading Armstrong rifles
• 8 × 100-pounder smoothbore
• 12 × 68-pounder smoothbore
1867 :
• 4 × 8 in (200 mm) muzzle-loading rifles

• 20 × 7 in (180 mm) muzzle-loading rifles
Armour: Battery and belt: 4.5 in (110 mm) amidships and 3 in (76 mm) fore and aft

HMS Caledonia was a broadside ironclad of the Prince Consort class.

Originally laid down as two-decker steam ship of the line of the Bulwark class, HMS Caledonia, HMS Triumph (later renamed HMS Prince Consort) and HMS Ocean were converted on the building stocks to armoured frigates.

The three ships of the Prince Consort class were intended to improve on HMS Royal Oak, which is often referred to as a half-sister to the rest of the class. In reality, the greater engine power was offset by the increased weight of engines and coal which had to be carried, so that the class had almost a two foot greater draft as compared to Royal Oak, which caused their performance to be essentially identical.

Service History

HMS Caledonia was not completed until July 1865 due to a delay in the delivery of her main armament. Once this was installed, she was commissioned as Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet, becoming the first ever armoured flagship of the Royal Navy.

She was temporarily withdrawn from service in 1866 for reconstruction, which involved the addition of a poop deck. Following this, she was flagship of the Channel Fleet until 1867, when she was paid off for re-armament.

HMS Caledonia was flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet until 1869 (relieving HMS Victoria, the last three-deck Royal Navy flagship) until 1872. She was a guardship in the Firth of Forth from 1872 until 1875.

She was paid off at Plymouth, and was laid up there until she was sold on 30 September 1886.


  • Oscar Parkes British Battleships ISBN 0-85052-604-3
  • Conway All the World's Fighting Ships ISBN 0-85177-133-5
  • Ballard, Admiral G.A. The Black Battlefleet, published Nautical Publications Co. and Society for Nautical Research, 1980. ISBN 0 245 53030 4
  • Baxter, James Phinney The Introduction of the Ironclad Warship, published Harvard University, 1933.
  • Brown, David K. Warrior to Dreadnought, Warship Development 1860-1905, published Chatham Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1 86176 022 1
  • Clowes, William Laird Four Modern Naval Campaigns, Historical Strategical, and Tactical, first published Unit Library, 1902, reprinted Cornmarket Press, 1970.
  • Conway All the World's Fighting Ships 1860-1905, published Conway Maritime Press, 1979. ISBN 0-8317-0302-4
  • Lambert, Andrew Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the Steam Battlefleet 1815-1860, published Conway Maritime Press, 1984. ISBN 0 85177 315 X
  • Parkes, Oscar British Battleships, first published Seeley Service & Co, 1957, published United States Naval Institute Press, 1990. ISBN 1-55750-075-4
  • Reed, Edward J Our Ironclad Ships, their Qualities, Performance and Cost, published John Murray, 1869.

da:HMS Caledonia (1862)